Induction ovens and electromagnetic interference: what is the risk for patients with implanted pacemakers?

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2003 Jul;26(7 Pt 1):1494-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9592.2003.t01-1-00216.x.


Electromagnetic fields may interfere with normal pacemaker function. Despite the introduction of modern pacemakers and bipolar lead systems, electromagnetic interference (EMI) still remains to be a concern during daily lives when patients are exposed to cellular phones, electronic security systems, and several household appliances. The aim of this study was to evaluate potential EMI risk of induction ovens, which are increasingly used in private households. The study included 40 consecutive patients (22 men, 18 women; age 73 +/- 11 years) with implanted DDD, VVI, VDD, and AAI pacemaker systems. The pacemakers were programmed to unipolar sensing and pacing. Sensitivity remained unchanged, if the measured sensing threshold was more than twice the programmed value; otherwise, it was set at half of the measured sensing threshold. Patients were placed in a sitting position at the closest possible distance of about 20 cm between two cooking pots and pacemaker bending the upper part of the body slightly over the induction oven. The energy was increased stepwise to the maximum. One pot was removed and placed again at the highest oven level. Potential interference was monitored continuously. The study showed no incidence of pacemaker malfunction during the entire test while the patients with intrinsic cardiac rhythms were exposed to the induction oven at varying energy strengths. Likewise, there was no external interference when the patients were paced at heart rates of 10-15 beats/min above their heart rates. The programmed parameters remained unchanged after the study. In conclusion, this study shows no EMI risk of an induction oven in patients with bipolar or right-sided unipolar pacemakers.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Household Articles*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pacemaker, Artificial*
  • Risk Factors